Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday Reviews

For those of you who don't know, I review books at Teenreads. It's a wonderful outlet and one that I've been following since I was a little bookworm, scouring the Ultimate Reading List to find my next read. But reviewing for Teenreads kind of puts me in a tough position with blogging. How do I decide which books I review for Teenreads and which books I review for the blog? And because I have to give TR a list of five books, I often have no choice in the matter, books are just chosen for me by my supervisor. And because I read so slow (25 pages per hour?)…I end up devoting a lot of my time to Teenreads rather than Paperback Princess.

It's not a bad gig. I love it a lot. But it means that I've neglected blogging when I really didn't want to.
So I thought I would round up the reviews that I posted at Teenreads on the blog, that way I can share my thoughts more widely and also feel that I'm contributing more to the blog. Win-Win, right?

Do any of you write for more than one outlet? How do you choose what to review and how do you keep up with it? I'm curious!

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman: Not going to lie, I was extremely wary about this one. It's not that I don't enjoy historical fiction, it's just that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to read through Nazi Propaganda, no matter how fictionalized. I was presently surprised by it. The unfolding intrigue and mystery was enough to keep me turning pages and I really loved the character development. Gretchen goes from being a disillusioned sycophant to a strong young woman, capable of standing up to the monsters she grew up with. I could also tell that Anne Blankman had done her fair share of research and was impressed by the way she chose to use it. I would totally recommend this to readers who are looking for something different but also for those who love historical fiction. From my Teenreads review: "PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG gave me chills…due in part to its complexities and unforgettable main characters, I will be thinking about this novel for a long time."

The End or Something Like That
by Ann Dee Ellis: This book was a total surprise. It wasn't on my radar at all and I probably would have never read it if not for Teenreads. That being said, I have a hard time explaining this book. I can tell you that it's one of my favorites. But it's also a mixture of heartbreaking black humor and a bit of magical realism. The End Or Something Like That reminded me a lot of Going Bovine. Very speculative. And very amazing. Like Going Bovine, this book navigates death with a quirky sense of humor. Before she dies, Emmy's best friend Kim plans out exactly how they're going to communicate when she finally dies. But instead of Kim, Emmy is visited by a a host of other ghosts that she never wanted to see. But what follows allows not only the ghosts that keep appearing to move on but Emmy as well. From my Teenreads Review: "Emmy is impossible not to fall in love with --- her perspective and voice draw you in and you can’t help but feel for her."
Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff: I am so conflicted about how I feel with this book. I really enjoyed it and I thought it was very true to teenage experience, especially in light of our real and online lives. However, I felt like it was too real. Like a kick in the face. Every description, every piece of dialogue pulled you in so effortlessly that I felt like I was in high school again and hanging out with our main characters. But sometimes I wish I could have pulled away a little bit more. I like stories to turn out well. I like my happy endings and swoon worthy heroes. Sometimes being confronted by reality is tough, especially in a book about online avatars, roleplaying games and generally pretending to be someone you are not. This book was definitely well written and different. I recommend it a lot. I could have done without the roleplaying interludes but I understood why we needed them. I want to recommend this wholeheartedly but I do so with caution. It will make you think but maybe you're better off. From my Teenreads Review: "The writing is so spot-on that I feel like I have an understanding of every character, even if I only was treated to the point of views of two."

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